In today’s world of connectivity, you can almost always access what you need from wherever you’re located. Entrepreneurs often ground themselves to their office and limit their travels from the fear of losing operational control. They overlook the fact that almost everything can be managed and tracked online.
The days of sitting in your warehouse to know how much inventory you have is over. With software changing the way almost every industry runs, you can now manage your business from across the globe. Though there are certain parameters you should setup, the underlying truth is that your business should not limit your ability to travel.
In fact, statistics from the book Remote: Office Not Required, show that working remotely can have some incredible benefits. These benefits include being more result driven, being more productive, and judging people by the quality of their work.
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Though setting up your business to run remotely can be challenging, here are three tips to make it happen:
1. Outsource your fulfillment.
A key part of working remotely is enabling someone else to handle the logistics side of your business. As an example, if you’re a direct to consumer brand that sells through Shopify, you should have a fulfillment partner that ships all your products for you. They should be setup with a plugin into your online store, so the process is completely hands off.
At my company Yes Man Watches, we have a fulfillment partner in San Diego that handles everything to do with logistics for us -- they can handle incoming production orders from our manufacturer, sort and organize our product, check for quality, and ship to our end customers. Having a company streamline facets of your business that aren’t at your core is essential to being able to run your business remotely.
2. Hire virtual assistants.
There is a big trust gap with a lot of entrepreneurs and virtual assistants. To be honest, some of the virtual assistants I’ve worked with have been better than my actual team members. The hard part is finding the right ones.
To search for virtual assistants I suggest using Upwork or Onlinejobs.ph. Both these marketplaces have incredible talent that you can vet through their review system. To confirm their previous work though, it is always smart to ask for a reference or two.
3. Set parameters.
Though you should eventually build a trustworthy relationship with your partners and virtual assistants, at the end of the day it is always smart to set certain parameters. These levels of parameters are often hard to establish but some platforms actually integrate these controls into their systems.
At my startup Sourcify, a marketplace for the world’s top manufacturers, we currently work with an outsourced web developer. Though we could have given him complete control over our site, we instead created an additional username and password for him that doesn’t have full control over some attributes like purchasing power.
I’m currently in Tel Aviv, working out of the Excel Ventures program, a unique entrepreneurship track bringing Americans and Israelis together for ten weeks. My businesses back in the states are still operating smoothly. Though I worry at times, I instill trust in my fulfillment partners, virtual assistants, and know my parameters are there as a measurement of security.
Entrepreneurs looking to travel the world should start implementing systems now that will enable them to work remotely. There is no reason to be tied to an office or certain location in today’s connected world.